These days, people are constantly glued to social media and online platforms, and are slowly giving up on reading books. Students, too, are detaching themselves from exploring literature beyond their prescribed syllabus, due to which the joy of picking up books and reading them is fading away.
In an attempt to rekindle this love for reading, and to encourage people to read books, the Saligao Institute, in association with Made In Saligao Market group, headed by Aquilla Fernandes and her team, are all set to host the ‘Pustakamchem fest’ (Book festival) on April 19, 2022 from 11 am to 8.30 pm at the Saligao Institute, Saligao, Bardez.
What you’ll find
The festival is a one-of-a-kind festival, and is being held for the first time in the village of Saligao. It will include various activities and events. During the festival, there will be interviews with various authors, workshops, read-aloud sessions for children, new and secondhand books for sale, book releases, etc.
A number of authors, including Dayanita Singh, Heta Pandit, Tomazinho Cardozo, Clyde D’Souza, Pantaleao Fernandes, Joseph Fernandes, Anita Pinto, Alexyz, Salil Chaturvedi, Rev Fr John D’silva, Pragya Bhagat, Rochelle Pereira, Bina Nayak will participate in the fest, along with their books.
Similarly, bookshops and organizations, like the Dogears Bookshop, Literati Bookshop, Dalgado Konknni Academy, Broadway Bookstore, Goa1556, The Reading Planet Library and Bookstore, Out Of Context Book Club, Rama Harmalkar (Qurate Books) and various others will also participate.
Along with the festival, there will be the famous Tuesday market of Saligao. Goan food, seasonal fruit and drinks, barbeque, hand-crafted products, live music performances, dance and drama will be part of the fest.
Interestingly, the festival is open to all, and book sellers and book lovers can participate free of cost, in this ‘Pustakamchem fest’.
Authors and books to watch out for
Among the many authors who will participate in the fest, there will be a book release of famed author Dayanita Singh. She has lived in Saligao and will release her book on the occasion. Besides that, Cartoonist Alexyz will be present with his book ‘Quotoons’.
One can also check out the work of Goan author Clyde D'Souza, a self-taught doodler, who has written the book ‘Susegad – the Goan Art of Contentment’. Rev Fr John D'Silva, who writes popular content which includes history, proverbs, anecdotes, hymns, songs, all of which have local flavor, will be present along with his books for sale.
Joseph C Fernandes, from Chorao, who is well-versed with oral histories of Goa will market his book ‘Requiem for a Goan’.
Diviya Kapur, who runs Literati Book Shop and Café, will be present, as well as Goa’s writer, photographer and ethnographer, Pantaleao Fernandes.
Several other authors and books will also be seen at the fest.
Reviving the reading habit
Speaking to GT, coordinator of the event, and resident of Saligao, Clarice Vaz, says that the idea of this festival came to Bina Nayak, while the Saligao Institute and the Made In Saligao Market group, headed by Aquilla Fernandes and team, helped make it come true.
Vaz says, “With the coming of e-books and digital platforms, many book stores and book publishing houses are on the verge of closing down. The delight of turning the pages of a real book is so different now. Reading a digital book is not the same as reading a real book, in my opinion, since the temptation to switch over to social media or Play Station is higher.”
This, in turn, is ruining the creative abilities and imaginative power of individuals. Vaz explains, “When you read books, you get exposed to a detailed description of the main character, and get a chance to imagine a lot more than if you were watching a video or movie, which ruins your imaginative power.” She further adds that this fest will focus on bringing back the love for reading books.
Goencho Festakar, Marius Fernandes also said, “The village of Saligao has come together to hosts such a fest, which will inculcate the habit of reading, and will encourage people to read books. Such initiatives should be taken up by other villages as well.”
WHERE: The Saligao Institute, Saligao
WHEN: April 19
TIME: 11am to 8.30pm.